Old family courthouse demolished for affordable housing

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SAN DIEGO — Crews started to demolish the old San Diego family court building downtown Friday, making way for a new affordable housing project.

The building on Sixth Avenue hasn’t been used for hearings since family court moved to a different location in 2018, and it most recently served as a migrant shelter. Now it’s being razed to make way for an eight-story building with 120 affordable housing units.

Households earning less than 60% of Area Median Income, including seniors, will be eligible for the apartments. Developers say there will also be retail and community space with the new project, and supporters say the building will make it easy for residents to get around on foot and by using public transportation.

An image from Sept. 25 (left) showing the demolition of an old county courthouse, with a rendering (right) showing the plans for an affordable housing complex there. (Photos: County Supervisor Fletcher)

There will be third-party providers for Programs of All-Inclusive Care for Elderly, Medicare and Medicaid guidance, officials said.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, whose district includes the new housing, was a key proponent of the plan and visited the demolition Friday to speak about the development.

“These are the types of projects we need to see,” Fletcher said. “They’re in urban environments, they’re near transit lines and corridors, they’re walkable to surrounding areas, they’re 100% affordable.”

He told reporters the project was a collaboration between the county and city, and that the county helped pay for the development with a trust fund dedicated to affordable housing.

Demolition is expected to wrap up by November 2020. Soon after, the developers — AVRP Skyport — will start gathering community input and finalizing plans, with a groundbreaking set for 2024, Fletcher’s office said.

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